Getting ready to apply for WY elk. Can't decide.

Discussion in 'Elk Hunting' started by Michael Eichele, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    So I am in a quandry as to what to do about WY elk. I am dead set on a solid 350" 6x6 or better. I've harvested a couple of smaller bulls and am not going to harvest anything less than what I really want. Looking for an October 1st rifle hunt where I can see multiple bulls a day, hear a few bugles and have a few opportunities at some mature bulls.

    I realize hunting in the wilderness requires a guide and I am not sure I can afford one this year so I may not be able to go that route. I am NOT afraid to backpack in somewhere and am not afraid of rugged terrain.

    The most important thing is to be into good bulls regardless of what I have to do to get to them/get them out. Grizzlies and wolves dont concern me unless they have taken their toll on the elk population and mature bulls. My absolute max range is 1000 yards and prefer areas that I can glass and move into position or shoot from my glassing vantage.

    I also realize I can probably find 350 bulls in nearly any unit but I am looking for an area that would produce a good number of good bulls to choose from (not looking for any given 'spots' or honey holes).

    I do have max points and dont HAVE to draw this year. I would rather continue to apply for tough to draw units and eventually get what I want rather than burn my points on a mediocre hunt this year just for the sake of going elk hunting this year.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks,


    M
     
  2. Tikkamike

    Tikkamike Well-Known Member

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    I admire your standards, but I am not sure you realize what you are asking, a 350 bull is not something you can really expect. You may get lucky and get one but chances are you will not. I have killed several bull elk and been in on many more and have only seen to push past the 350 mark and this is on prime elk territory on my familys private land. Sure there are 350 elk out there and people shoot quite a few of them every year, but the chances percentage wise are not very good. My advice is stay away from the far west side of the state because numbers are down and wolves are up. area 100 is supposed to have some monster bulls in it. if it werent for the poor odds I would hunt there myself. its in the red desert so it wouldnt be your traditional elk hunt
     

  3. shortpants

    shortpants Well-Known Member

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    I am by far no expert Michael but have done a fair amount of research in WY and hunted there the last 2 years. I was hunting deer and scouting for future antelope but have researched elk as well. What I determined about about elk hunting in WY as a non-resident is it is a good state for a 330 bull without a guide. That does not by any means say that you can't kill bigger bulls because it happens to the lucky ones every year! I believe 330 is a realistic goal over all in most of the top units. I would not go into it on my first try without a guide with a goal of 350 but instead just try and hunt hard and take a 330-340+. I am not trying to discourage you in any way just sharing my thoughts. That being said I would consider area 7 first and probably be thinking about areas like 16,100, and even the sleeper 124 along with a couple other central units before considering the traditional big bull units in the NW part of the state. The NW still holds some great bulls but if I were going to hunt that area I would think long and hard about booking with an outfitter. If I booked with an outfitter I would lean a little harder on the 350 but keep in mind their just numbers, I'll know the one I want when I see him!
    Best of luck on your quest and let us know how you do!
     
  4. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info. Believe me I know that nothing is for sure. Having hunted Arizona 3 times and New Mexico once (good solid hunts in the land of the true giants) I know how tricky 350+ bulls are to find and harder yet, to harvest. That said, I am just looking for my best chance. Some units/areas are more forgiving than others.

    Thanks again.
     
  5. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    I couldn't agree more. I use 350 as a baseline or a reference as to length, width and mass. In other words, a mature bull. I'll know the one I want when I see him as well.

    On my last AZ hunt I had a goal of at least a 330 bull and had multiple opportunities to go after a 330-340 bull (well within my size goal) but he did not have the OH THATS A GOOD LOOKING BULL! factor. So I kept passing on him. I was always near him for all 7 days and kept passing on him. Even before I saw the big dog. I would rather nail down a 330 bull with the horn charectaristics that I want versus a 370 bull I feel is ugly. I would never shoot one just because he has XX inches.

    Hope that helps you guys see what I am after.

    M
     
  6. Long Time Long Ranger

    Long Time Long Ranger Well-Known Member

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    There are many more big bulls in New Mexico and Arizona along with a few more states than in Wyoming. Good luck if you find that in Wyoming and let me know if you do. Wyoming has always been a good spot for nice bulls in the 280-330 range but wolves have hurt us quite a bit. I have hunted every western state for elk and Wyoming is not the state to focus on for a trophy however a few do show up every year. I know some guides that could show you what you want on private land but that kind of elk hunting is pricey. In the trophy elk states you can focus on big 350 class bulls and find them. Here you can focus on big bulls and may not or probably will not find one on public land. I saw a couple good ones looking at antelope in 100. It is good open country to glass but very hard to draw. I think you could find a 350 in there if you spent a couple weeks glassing. Find a good outfitter in 7 that has access to good private land and you could see a 350+ bull. Outfitters that control the private on the south side of the bighorns can also probably show you a 350 class bull.

    I know several units that hold 350 class bulls they are just not as easy to find or as numerous on public land as in trophy elk states like you mentioned.
     
  7. Triple BB

    Triple BB Well-Known Member

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    I've lived here my whole life and have hunted quite a few areas all across the state. If you get any info on areas where a good number of 350 class bulls are found on public ground for a DIY kinda guy, please post up as I'll put in for the area too...
     
  8. shortpants

    shortpants Well-Known Member

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    If your set on an Oct. 1st hunt the 2 that look appealing to me are 54/65 and 63/64. You could get away with no guide in these areas I believe though I don't know from experience just a little research. The others I mentioned earlier are not Oct. 1st hunts so I added these.
     
  9. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    Seems like we are on the same page. I applied last year for 63/64. I may again this year. Sounds like I have to hike quite a while to get into the better bulls.
     
  10. Tikkamike

    Tikkamike Well-Known Member

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    this a LOT closer to reality. Wyoming has a plague of weak 3rds on elk so find one with good 3rd's better shoot it
     
  11. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    I think you guys misunderstand what I am looking for. I realize there are no units with 350 bulls running around everywhere. Believe me, if anybody knows that, I do. My point is that I am looking for my best opportunity to have a chance or chances at a 350 bull. Best chance, thats all. I know I may spend 2 weeks there and never even see a 320 bull let alone a 350+ bull. Just looking for the best chance. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Clear as mud?
     
  12. Tikkamike

    Tikkamike Well-Known Member

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    I think this is where I got confused, I thought you were "dead set on a solid 350" 6x6 or better"
     
  13. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    Yes. I am dead set on a solid 350 bull or better. What that means is, I will go home empty if I cant find the bull I am looking for. I am still looking for my BEST CHANCE. Nothing more, nothing less. I dont go hunting for sure things. I go for possible opportunites. I dont have visions of 350 bulls running and prancing around everywhere. Thats not what I am looking for. Just my best chance.

    I am sure if you were dead set on a 60" moose, you would know that you may never see one on your hunt. I am sure you would still like to be where your best chance of seeing one is.

    You can relate to this right?
     
  14. Tikkamike

    Tikkamike Well-Known Member

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    well for a DIY I think 100 is your best chance if you can draw it unless you want to pay and outfitter or trespass fees then that will open a lot of windows